This fridge is as vanilla as its white color.

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As a budget fridge, don't expect water, automatic icemaking, or anything else special. The two basic wire racks are movable, but they don't come apart to make a split platform. Any spill protection above crisper drawer may or may not be intentional. In the left drawer, there's a humidity selector so you can make sure your fruit or veggies stay fresh—a pleasant surprise for a fridge in this price range. The drawers slide alright, but nowhere near the satisfying Barry White-esque smoothness of a high-end icebox. Above, the freezer is just a cold cave with one shelf.

You can adjust the temperatures of both the freezer and fridge, but you'll have to settle for vague adjectives—"cold," "normal," and "colder"—instead of actual quantitative temperatures.

Expect the performance of a $589 fridge.

Watch out for unwanted temperature fluctuations that cause freezer burn.

As a budget model, the only real expectation for is that it'll work. And it does a okay job, especially considering its price tag. The fridge ran 3°F warmer than the 37°F standard when set to normal, which is a problem unless you know to turn it a little cooler.

We found the bottom portion of the fridge to be slightly warmer, which is good since produce doesn't have to be that cold. But despite the differences in the fridge cavity, we recorded consistent temperatures in the fridge throughout the testing process. The crisper drawer passed our humidity test well enough, so your lettuce shouldn't wither too much in the drawer.

The freezer, however, was a bit dodgy and exhibited unwelcome temperature fluctuations. The fridge crept up to 3.7°F and down to -4.7°F, so watch out for freezer burn. Correcting the fridge temperature might also lower the freezer's, since they share a compressor. However, there are separate controls, so you can tweak the freezer's baffles to try to find a good balance. In our freezing test, it took just over two hours to freeze about a pound of food substitute, an average performance.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

It's main selling point is that it works.

This is a very simple fridge that works.

This is a very simple fridge that works. If you're considering it, you're probably most attracted by the alluring $399 price tag we currently see at Sears. If that's the main concern, rest easy with the knowledge that the fridge works, though you'll probably need to calibrate it a little and tolerate some freezer burn. It's probably a good idea to pick up a fridge thermometer anyway. It's always good to know what's going on in there.
The had a little trouble in our lab tests, but maintained performance on par with its price tag. Freezer burn may be an issue, and you may want to get a small fridge thermometer.

It's got a fever.

We weren't thrilled that the fridge didn't hit the standard temperature of 37°F when set to normal. Instead we found averages of 39.5°F, 39.2°F, and 40.8°F on the top, middle, and bottom of the fridge, respectively. We don't mind the increased temperatures on the bottom—that's good for produce—but the overall warmth make us balk a little. On the plus side, temperatures only fluctuated an average of 0.3°F. It's consistent.

The freezer fluctuated too much, averaging about 1.1°F away from the 0°F mean at any given time during the test. We're happy the freezer averaged zero, but inconsistent temperatures can lead to freezer burn.

Don't wait that long to eat your lettuce.

The crisper drawer did an average job of retaining moisture, losing about two grams of water per hour to evaporation. No one wants dried out lettuce, and the will keep things moist for an average amount of time—say a few days.

Takes a while to cool, but it stays cold if there's a problem.

This Kenmore didn't do so well in our freeze test, getting our food substitutes under 32°F in just over two hours. This isn't very good, even for such an inexpensive fridge. However, the freezer's power loss numbers were pretty impressive, showing that Kenmore did a good job insulating the 68802: The freezer temperature was still below freezing 36 hours after we shut if off.

It's smaller than you think.

This Kenmore isn't a big fridge, and while our measurement of 11.8 cubic feet of space came in well below Kenmore's stated 14.3, we don't really feel cheated. Consumers don't really measure fridge size in cubic feet anyway. While you should check out our photos and the Vine below for a little perspective, we recommend getting your hands on one in person to really put this fridge in context.

If you're looking for numbers, we found 3.7 cubic feet in the freezer and 8.1 in the fridge. This isn't a big fridge.

We ran the fridge for 97 hours, and it drew 4850 watt-hours, which comes a yearly electric bill of around $39.48. Comparing that to the storage space, we calculated it uses around 0.10 kilowatt-hours per cubic foot, not too shabby.

Meet the testers

Ethan Wolff-Mann

Ethan Wolff-Mann

Staff Writer

@ethanwolffmann

Ethan writes reviews and articles about science for Reviewed.com, and edits the Science Blog. He's originally from Vermont and thinks the bicycle and guitar are examples of perfected technology. Prior to Reviewed.com, he studied furiously at Middlebury College.

See all of Ethan Wolff-Mann's reviews
Ethan Wolff-Mann

Ethan Wolff-Mann

Staff Writer

@ethanwolffmann

Ethan writes reviews and articles about science for Reviewed.com, and edits the Science Blog. He's originally from Vermont and thinks the bicycle and guitar are examples of perfected technology. Prior to Reviewed.com, he studied furiously at Middlebury College.

See all of Ethan Wolff-Mann's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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